Zimbabwe’s parliament moves to new building
HARARE: Zimbabwe’s parliament announced Sunday that it is relocating from the colonial-era building in the central business district (CBD) to a new, modern building that was funded and built by China in Mount Hampden on the outskirts of the capital Harare.
“The new parliament (building) is a magnificent and imposing edifice that symbolizes the enduring cultural heritage, abiding values, hopes, aspirations and achievements of the Zimbabwean people,” the parliament said in a statement Sunday.
The relocation process is expected to take approximately two weeks beginning on Oct. 30, it said, adding that some parliament services will be temporarily interrupted or delayed during the relocation process.
“However, we will strive to ensure that critical services continue to be provided through our personnel stationed either at the CBD or the new parliament building offices,” it added.
End of era for parliament
The new parliament building, which was funded and built by China through a grant, was delivered on Thursday to Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who subsequently handed it over to the speaker of parliament, according to the statement.
The relocation marks the end of an era for Zimbabwe’s parliament in the old building that was constructed in the late 19th century by Zimbabwe’s colonial rulers.
With a capacity to accommodate about 100 legislators, the old building had become too small for the more than 350 legislators and support staff.
The new parliament building gives an architectural nod to the country’s famous ancient ruins, the Great Zimbabwe, and has the capacity to accommodate 1,000 people.
The six-story building also has extra facilities for conferences with 15 committee rooms and 600 rooms including offices for VIPs.
The Zimbabwean government has announced that it will host the 44th Ordinary Summit of Southern African Development Community Heads of State and Government at the new parliament building next year.